Pro-TMC educators' forum hail apex court's observation on Bills pending at Raj Bhavan

Pro-TMC educators' forum hail apex court's observation on Bills pending at Raj Bhavan

Kolkata, Nov 24 (PTI) A pro-Trinamool Congress platform of academics on Friday hailed the recent judgment of the Supreme Court that governors cannot keep Bills pending indefinitely without any action.

The Educationists Forum, a platform of former vice-chancellors of state universities and senior professors, said the apex court's observation and directions are applicable to all the states including West Bengal.

'The judgment of the hon'ble Supreme Court on Punjab on Bills passed by the legislative assembly and pending with the governor is applicable obviously for West Bengal as well. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that the consequential lawful action in line with the SC judgment must be taken up by the governor of West Bengal immediately,' the forum said in a statement.

'The government of West Bengal must follow up with the governor on the various Bills pending with him and if needed convene an assembly session to express the will of the people of West Bengal,' the forum said.

In a recent order, the Supreme Court had emphasised that the unelected head of the state is entrusted with constitutional powers but that cannot be used to thwart the normal course of lawmaking by state legislatures.

Observing that unbridled discretion of the governor would 'virtually veto the functioning of the legislative domain by a duly elected legislature', a bench comprising Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud, Justice J B Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra said such a course of action would be contrary to fundamental principles of a constitutional democracy based on a Parliamentary pattern of governance.' 'The governor, as an unelected head of the state, is entrusted with certain constitutional powers. However, this power cannot be used to thwart the normal course of lawmaking by state legislatures. Consequently, if the governor decides to withhold assent under the substantive part of Article 200, the logical course of action is to pursue the course indicated in the first proviso of remitting the Bill to the state legislature for reconsideration,' the bench said in its November 10 judgment, passed on a plea by the Punjab government.

The bench said if the governor decides to withhold assent to a Bill, then he has to return the Bill to the legislature for reconsideration.

On November 7, Bengal assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee said since 2011, a total of 22 Bills have been awaiting approval at Raj Bhavan and six among them are currently under review of Governor C V Ananda Bose.

The disputes between Bose and the state, include matters related to appointment of VCs, the state's foundation day etc.

Bose in his response had said most of the Bills were referred to the state for clarification and some were referred to the President.

The forum include former VCs Om Prakash Mishra, Debnarayan Bandyopadhyay and Dipak Kar. PTI SUS MNB

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